Inaugural WorldSSP300 title set to be decided in Spain

Aussie youngsters get crack in the big leagues of little league!
Reid Battye and Tom Edwards race World SSP300 at Jerez
Van Eerde, Kelso and Faulkhead at Almeria for MotoGP Red Bull Rookies Cup

Following a stunning first season of racing action in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship, it all comes down to the final race to decide the title. Tensions will be high in the Pirelli Spanish Round, as two riders will be fighting to have his name in the history books.

Yamaha riders Marc Garica and Alfonso Coppola are the two riders vying for the Championship, but this weekend Australian fans will have their eyes on a different two youngsters, as Reid Battye and Tommy Edwards make their debuts

Marc Garcia
Marc Garcia

Close racing will be guaranteed around the ever popular 4.4km circuit, and following the battles fans have been treated to so far this season the Andalucían circuit will come alive with the sound of the 300 machines, as you can be assured the fight will be to the chequered flag.

2017 ASBK YMF R3 Cup Champion Tommy Edwards makes his debut in the hard-fought European based competition this weekend. The 16-year-old apprentice motorcycle mechanic joins the Kawasaki Moto Europe Team, on a Ninja EX 300 for the final round of 2017.

 

Tommy Edwards

“After I won the 2017 YMF R3 Cup and came second in the Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 class at Phillip Island for the final ASBK round, I got an offer from an overseas team to go racing as a Wild Card in the World Supersport 300 class in Spain – at the same time as I was due to race in the support category at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix! So, we had to make a hard and fast decision about which one to go to. It was a really difficult choice and I’ve got excellent advice from many ex-racers and family. But, we have made the tough call and are going to the famous Jerez circuit in Spain to give it a shot!

Tommy Edwards
Tommy Edwards

“Dad got a call from Kawasaki Moto Europe as soon as we got home from Phillip Island, and they offered us the Wild Card! There has been as heap of people helping us out with the decision but we wanted to go and see how we go on the world scale. I have competed in the Asia Talent Cup previously, where I learned a great deal of race craft, but no other overseas experience really.

Tommy Edwards
Tommy Edwards – Image by TBG

“It is a daunting prospect to go overseas and compete on a world famous track, and I don’t know how I will go. I will just take it as it comes. I am not sure what my plans for 2018 are just yet, we’ll see how Spain goes.

Edwards leading Mahaffy, Ford, and Taylor in Race 3 - Image by Half Light
Edwards leading Mahaffy, Ford, and Taylor in Race 3 at the ASBK Finale – Image by Half Light

“I compete many different disciplines of motorcycling, I don’t care what I ride really, I just want to be on two wheels at all times! I do everything from road race, enduro, motocross to dirt track. Riding bikes is the best form of training you can do to get fit to ride, and I’m always on a bike.”

Tom Edwards - Image by TBG
Tom Edwards receiving his 2017 Yamaha R3 Cup Championship Trophy – Image by TBG

Countryman Reid Battye had a little more notice. The 16-year-old won the Australian ‘Up To’ Hi-Tec Batteries Supersport 300 title on points with one round to spare.

Supersport 300 'Under' Champion Reid Battye - Image by TBG
Supersport 300 ‘Under’ Champion Reid Battye – Image by TBG

Reid Battye

“I’ve been lucky enough to score a ride for the World Superbike 300’s class for the final round in Jerez. I’m pretty nervous with the pressure of heading over there. This is a great opportunity however and I can’t wait to get over there and compete. It’s going to be a surreal moment to be in a world championship paddock and it’s going to offer valuable experience. I’ll be riding a Kawasaki Ninja 300 for a different team. It will of course be a similar machine but with the slightly different specifications required for that championship.

Reid Battye - Supersport 300 - Under 300cc Champion
Reid Battye – Supersport 300 – Under 300cc Champion

“I really want to try and build a solid rapport with the team and adapt as best as I can. I’ve actually been playing on my Xbox to try and learn the circuit! We’ll just have to make the most of Friday practice when I arrive and take advantage of this great opportunity. It doesn’t get much better than Jerez for atmosphere and racing. It was a great way to win the ‘Up To’ 300’s Championship with one round remaining. We were able to go to the final round of ASBK with not too much pressure. It’s fun to ride out there without the pressure of trying to win a Championship.”


Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Selections

While Edwards and Battye will be in the thick of World Supersport 300 action at Jerez, 400km away three of their young compatriots are currently vying for Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup selection event at Almeria.

Billy Van Eerde beams through the sweat of Sepang after taking victory on debut
Billy Van Eerde beams through the sweat of Sepang after taking victory on his international debut last month

From around the World, 109 riders from 31 different nations, from Russia to Laos, from Argentina and India to Austria, each rider has the chance to show their abilities.

At the end of testing around ten riders will be invited to join the Rookies Cup for 2018 to race the KTM RC 250 Rs alongside those riders remaining from last season.

Joel Kelso - 2017 Australian Moto3 Champion - Image by TBG
Joel Kelso – 2017 Australian Moto3 Champion – Image by TBG

This year more than half the Moto3 World Championship grid has been made up of ex Rookies and at times they have packed the podium places. Ex Rookie Joan Mir currently leads the title chase by 80 points with four races remaining, he could make it a run of three ex Rookie World Champions in a row.

The 12th Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season will start next year in Jerez at the Spanish Grand Prix with some of this year’s applicants taking a big step towards their dream of World Championship glory.

Will there be an Aussie youngster among them?

Edward Faulkhead
Edward Faulkhead

World Superbike hits Phillip Island - 23-25 February, 2018
World Superbike hits Phillip Island – 23-25 February, 2018